Mary Zimmerman's revival of her 1997 show, based on a Persian epic by 12th-century poet Nizami, contains all the rich visuals, tight ensemble work, whimsical stagecraft, and moments of epiphany characteristic of her work. The pace is decidedly unhurried--the show unfolds over two and a half hours--and the layers of narrative within each of the seven tales require careful listening. But by refusing to conform to contemporary expectations of breakneck, sliced-and-diced, anachronistic pop-cultural takes on classics, Zimmerman and her creative team honor the poetry and mystery of these beguiling legends. They also capture the complexities of the Middle East and Far East in ways too often overlooked or oversimplified by Westerners. a Through 7/29: Wed 7:30 PM, Thu 2 and 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Sun 7/8, 2 and 7:30 PM, Sat 7/7, 8 PM only, Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, 312-443-3800, $20-$68. --Kerry Reid
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Liz Lauren.